Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 21st 2015 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, December 21, 2015
Leicester manager Claudio
Ranieri admits his players are
making his job easier as the Foxes
unexpected title challenge con-
tinues to gather momentum.
A 3-2 win at Everton ensured
they will be top of the Premier
League at Christmas, 12 months
on from being rock-bottom and
in danger of being relegated.
The form of Jamie Vardy, the
Premier League s top scorer with
15, and Riyad Mahrez, whose
penalty double at Goodison Park
took his tally to 13, have grabbed
the headlines but it is the work
ethic within the team which has
been at the root of Leicester s suc-
"I am very pleased. I have said
my team have a very good spirit,"
"The players are friendly with
each other and that is helping me
in my job and helping us on the
"It (his job) is harder when you
are down the table not at the top
of the table.
"If some players relax they will
go out of the team, that is my phi-
losophy and they know that very
Leicester s rise to the top of the
table has taken everyone by sur-
prise and even a member of their
backroom staff was heard in the
Goodison tunnel afterwards admit-
ting he was expecting to wake up
and discover their situation had
all been in his imagination.
Ranieri echoed those sentiments
but has ruled out any talk of the
title until at least April.
"It is a dream for everyone," he
told BBC Sport.
"We have to concentrate now,
clear our mind and think about
Liverpool (on Boxing Day) as we
come back in a few days.
"My target is 40 points (they
have 38 already) and then after I
want to speak with my players.
"It is important they understand
they believe what they can
Mahrez is the epitome of a play-
er currently living the dream as
goals at Goodison drew him level
with Romelu Lukaku, whose first-
half equaliser was the eighth suc-
cessive match in which he had
scored, and he has scored more
goals in his last three matches than
he did in his previous two seasons
with the club (when he managed
The 24-year-old Algeria inter-
national, a £400,000 signing from
Le Havre, credited his team-mates
for his recent success.
"I am very pleased. It is difficult
to score but without my team-
mates I would have never done
that," he told Foxes Player.
"I am happy but I have to keep
going in this way because we are
something good this year.
"It is very good for the team,
the club. We make the city proud
and that is a very good feeling for
us so we have to carry on."
Mahrez opened the scoring with
a penalty after Ramiro Funes Mori
fouled Shinji Okazaki and then put
his side ahead again from the spot
after Lukaku s equaliser when Tim
Howard tripped Vardy.
Okazaki made it 3-1 before Ever-
ton substitute Kevin Mirallas pulled
one back in the 89th minute with
his first league goal since April.
"It was a strange game," Howard
"We had a lot of possession and
ended up getting two goals but
they did the business and that is
why they are where they are.
"Our performances have been
pretty good but in order to get
results 100 percent of the time
everything is spot-on - if we do
that we will get the results we
LONDON---Andy Murray has been
voted BBC Sports Personality of the
Year for the second time after help-
ing Great Britain win the Davis Cup
for the first time since 1936.
The 28-year-old Murray says "I
didn t expect this. It s very humbling
to be up here in front of so many
great athletes," after beating Kevin
Sinfield, who captained rugby league
side Leeds Rhinos to the treble in
2015, to the prestigious British award
yesterday. Jessica Ennis-Hill was third
in the public vote.
The 2013 winner was instrumental
in helping Britain to a first Davis Cup
victory in 79 years following a 3-1
win over Belgium in November.
"This has been a five-year journey.
We were down in the bottom level of
tennis and now we re number one in
the world and I never thought that
would be possible," Murray added.
FRANKFURT---The Russian cou-
ple whose exposure of doping in
their country led to the ban of
Russian athletes say they should
remain suspended and excluded
from the Rio Olympics next year.
VItaliy and Yuliya Stepanova
spoke about widespread doping in
Russian athletics to the German
broadcaster ARD, leading to the sus-
pension of the Russian federation.
In the latest interview yesterday,
Vitaliy Steponov says it would
"unfair to the athletes around the
world" if the suspension is lifted
and the Russians are allowed to
compete in Rio.
He says "for decades, the Russians
have broken the rules, knowingly,
have lied to the IOC, to athletes
from different parts of the world."
The ARD says the couple now
lives in hiding and is willing to give
more evidence to the IOC.
Murray is BBC Sports
Personality of the Year
tralian Arina Rodionova has fallen
one match short of gaining a wild-
card entry into January s Australian
Open, losing the deciding match a
day after her marriage.
Teenager Maddison Inglis beat
Rodionova 6-4, 6-2 in the women s
wild-card final yesterday to gain entry
to the main draw of the Grand Slam
tournament beginning Jan. 18.
Rodionova had won her semifinal
on Saturday morning which was re-
scheduled to accommodate her after-
noon wedding to Australian Football
League player Ty Vickery.
There was also some family drama
in the men s final: James Duckworth
won by walkover when his opponent,
Ben Mitchell, had to rush back to
Brisbane to be with his partner for
the birth of their first child.
Rodionova falls one match
short of wild-card win
Whistleblowers: Ban Russian athletes for Rio
Foxes team spirit
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri celebrates after beating Chelsea 2-1
during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City
and Chelsea at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England. AP PHOTO
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